by Shaffer Braun

The Houston retail market ended 2016 on a positive note and doesn’t appear to be slowing down in 2017. With significant growth in homes and suburban expansions, retail developers throughout the city have been playing catch-up. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, last year, approximately 3.9 million sq. ft. of retail space was delivered, with absorption of 4 million sq. ft., keeping vacancy rates around 4 percent. This means that more than half of this past year’s demand was focused on new development.

Looming increases in interest rates, spurred on by President Trump’s policy agenda of big tax cuts and infrastructure, have spurred potential home buyers to begin actively looking. In 2016, Houston set a record for home sales since 2014 with an increase in supply, as nearly 100,000 newly listed homes were put onto the market.

February 2017 will see Houston bring in an expected nearly $450 million in spending from the presence of Super Bowl LI. In fact, Baltimore-based Rockport Analytics predicts that $37.8 million will be spent in retail and shopping alone. In the 10-day wraparound period of the Super Bowl, Houston is expected to see an overall increase in net spending of $372 million.

Lastly, as Houston continues to prosper, retail has seen a deluge of new tenants, such as Lidl, Wine & More, Amazon, & Dick’s, that are entering the market. With a number of big box retailers shutting their doors, it’s a mad dash to backfill these existing spaces.

Overall, 2017 looks to bring continued growth and great expansion to Houston’s retail market.

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